Undoubtedly you know the famous admonition of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” But have you learned the power of giving thanks before you see the answer?
John 6:1-15 tells us the story of a boy who had a small lunch, just enough to feed himself, but certainly not enough to feed a hungry crowd of more than 5000 people. Yet, when he gives his lunch to Jesus, his inadequate resource is made adequate for the need. We’ve been learning some important principles that we need to practice in our lives when we’re facing an overwhelming need and we don’t have adequate resources.
After Jesus had the crowd sit down, he took the inadequate lunch, and gave thanks for the lunch. This is where the miracle began. He didn’t multiply the food, then have the people sit down, and then ask the blessing on the food. He gave thanks for the lunch, even though it wasn’t enough, and then it became adequate while the food was being distributed.
Oh, it’s so important for us to learn this principle in our lives. So many times we want to see the solution, the answer, the resource before we make a move. But we must learn that our miracles begin when we give thanks for what we have, even though it’s not enough, and start obeying Jesus with what we have.
In the Matthew account of this miracle, we are told that Jesus took the lunch, and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks. He didn’t look at the small lunch, he didn’t look at the big crowd, but he looked up to heaven. If you and I look at our small resources or our big needs, we’ll want to quit. We’ve got to look up to heaven, and remember that God has resources and ideas we’ve never thought of.
Here are two important principles: First, don’t look at your big need or at your meager resources, look to God, remember how great he is, recall what he’s done for you in the past. Focus on his greatness, not on your weakness. Sing songs that remind you of his power and strength. Then second, give thanks for what you have even though it isn’t enough. Get your mouth working and truly thank God out loud for that small lunch you’ve got. Don’t complain because it isn’t enough; don’t think about how inadequate it is. Be thankful, for this is God’s will for you. Obey, do God’s will, be thankful, and then wait for your inadequacy to become the beginning of God’s miracle.